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Thread: Can't get to everyone else's level (loudness)

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    Can't get to everyone else's level (loudness)

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    I know about the loudness wars. I know how to normalize, compress, notch frequencies, create fuller sounds. I'd make a track that's not necessarily muddy of muffled. But I cannot for the life of me get my tracks as loud as the stuff I hear every day from artists on soundcloud. I've gone right to the edge of loudness, being careful to avoid distortion. I pull out all the tricks and I can't go any further, yet everyone seems to effortlessly blow past a loudness limit I seem hampered by.

    Of course I want to avoid distortion, but it seems like everyone is playing at a different level. I just don't see how they do it.

    I use a PC, Reaper Software, MXL 550 & SM-57 mics, & a Firepod I/O.

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    There are plenty of "maximize" plugs that will let you peel paint with your mixes.
    Of course, when you get to that point, your mixes will also start to change and flatten out...but you'll be able to make them plenty loud.

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    can you send an exemple of your max loudness and a sample of what loudness level you'd like to reach?
    Try.

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    [preachy sounding goofiness] I hate to keep saying that "loud" is generally an afterthought and basically the easy part of the mastering process. A monkey with a decent limiter can make just about any mix as loud as just about any other mix. [/preachy sounding goofiness]

    How the mix reacts to that abuse on the other hand, is up to the mix. Not necessarily how loud the engineer wants to make it.

    IME, I'd have to throw in "especially when staying digital, when you can't change a reference voltage" (but that's for another thread).

    That all said - If the mix is 'falling apart' it's usually falling apart for a reason. Find that reason and there you go.

    Not that making it overly loud just for the sake of making it overly loud isn't still a bad idea... [/more preachy stuff]

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    The first graph might in this article be relevant when you're comparing your mixes to things you hear on soundcloud (or other online streaming services):
    Loudness online – how loud is loud enough, and how loud is too loud ?

    The rest of the post has a lot of fluff and not much content, but the graph is relevant since all online streaming services will turn up/down audio based on it's percieved loudness (worked out in various ways).

    Don't judge the 'volume' of your music against other music on online streaming services, it's not a straight comparison as loudness normalisation is used in the majority of cases.

    Edit: Also, Massive Master is on the money (IMO).
    Last edited by Jake_JW; 10-21-2015 at 05:18.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jake_JW View Post
    The first graph might in this article be relevant when you're comparing your mixes to things you hear on soundcloud (or other online streaming services):
    Loudness online – how loud is loud enough, and how loud is too loud ?
    So according to that article, it's more like a "loudness stalemate"?

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    Perhaps, I think that's what streaming services are aiming for after the worst excesses of the 2000s.

    Anyway, thought it might be useful to point out since OP said they were comparing to audio from online streaming services.

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    \o/

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    Quote Originally Posted by cakewalkKaKed View Post


    \o/
    Should make this a sticky at the top of the mastering section

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vigo View Post
    can you send an exemple of your max loudness and a sample of what loudness level you'd like to reach?
    Here's the same song I posted in another thread, my latest example.

    https://soundcloud.com/foot-pound-force/tv-kiss

    Yeah, yeah, I know it's compressed and somewhat flat, but unless that is what is causing it to be quieter, then that's not an issue.

    This track, within Reaper & Audacity, is normalized to where its absolute peak is at 0dB.

    But then I listen to my friend's song: https://muzooka.com/thewolvesofchernobyl (only one on the page) and even though it's acoustic, it seems louder.

    Is it the streaming services?

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